Property series: Le Plan de la Tour

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Nestled within several thousands of hectares of forests and vines, Le Plan de la Tour has all the sites and smells of alpine life yet is only 10 kilometres from the coast. The dolmens, ancient standing stones and arrowheads strewn across the ground indicate the presence of humans here back in the megalithic ages and while the early Plantourians, as the townsfolk are known, may or may not have made wine then, they certainly do now, producing an elixir of reds, whites and rosés.Read more

Property series: La Garde Freinet

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In the heart of the Massif des Maures lies the commune of La Garde Freinet. Positioned at the summit of a hill, its inhabitants are known as the Gardois; a name that comes from the position of the village, standing guard over the valley of ash trees - frênes - that fill the plain below.Read more

The Cucina Bianca experience

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For centuries, the people of the upper Arroscia Valley have handed down from generation to generation the recipes of the region's traditional cucina bianca - white cuisine. Now, several communities in the area are getting behind the ancient cooking style as they try to transform it into a tourist attraction.Read more

Zepter honours young chefs

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The international Zepter group has for years hosted a major literary prize for distinguished writers. Now Madeleine and Phillip Zepter have launched a new award and are expanding their philanthropic presence with the ‘Prix Zepter International du Jeune Chef’ in honour of chefs under 35 years. Nice’s Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen was chosen to host the first edition of the gourmet prize and cooking personalities from across the region turned out in support of the next generation of haute cuisine.Read more

Perfect timing

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From the Marriott's recently renovated AC Hotel Nice comes a fresh, new concept: a gourmet business lunch with flair and 45 minute timeframe. Targeting exclusively the Riviera businessman and woman, as well as the international high flyer, the express menu promises a refined cuisine coupled with quick and professional service in a locale that oozes style.Read more

Handling home insurance

In France, owners and tenants should subscribe to an insurance contract that will cover them and your belongings in the event of a natural disaster or even if you forget to turn the tap off.Read more

Something different by the sea

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Since its beautification a few years ago, the port of Nice is always buzzing, even on a Tuesday night. The latest addition to the mix is Gigi - an Italian pizza, grill and cocktail restaurant. This stylish, mid-range eatery on the Quai des Deux Emmanuel side of the port offers gorgeous views of the château and moored luxury yachts. It also has a menu geared unexpectedly towards beef - there's not a speck of seafood in sight! It's daring, it's different, and when you think about it - it's actually very smart.Read more

Elegance al fresco

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This is exactly what the Principality of Seborga has been missing - a refined restaurant with superb views from one principality to another, high above the coastline of the Italian Riviera. What Marcellino's represents is not only a place for quality dining, but also a meeting spot for residents and visitors of the picturesque principato in the mountains above the town of Bordighera.Read more

Spanish tapas in Nice

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It's always exciting to hear about the opening of a new restaurant/bar, even better when the venue is offering something completely different. Nice in particular is oversaturated with French brasseries and restaurants all offering the same thing, so when I heard about El Merkado Bar and Tapas I was overjoyed and armed with, as always, high expectations.Read more

Dreaming of stars

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He is (so far) the only man I have ever arranged to meet in a wholesale market at the unearthly hour of 3am. That was almost 20 years ago. At the time, Alain Llorca was the star chef at the Chantecler restaurant in Nice's Negresco hotel, and we met to do some shopping for the next day's menu. Since then, we have both gained in age and experience - not to mention a few more kilos, but he more than me.Read more